John Quaintance in The New Yorker:
December 5, 1791
House of Representatives
How is it almost 1792?! Quick question on the right to bear arms thing in your “Bill of Rights”—the wording and punctuation are slightly confusing. Did you mean that the right of the people serving in the militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, or people in general? I’m assuming the former, but don’t want to make an ass of you and me! (Franklin made that up, but I’m using it everywhere!) Could you please send me a quick note whenever to clarify?
P.S. To be honest, I’m still meh about “Bill of Rights” as a name.
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December 7, 1791
Office of the Secretary of State
I know, it’s so crazy how fast this year has gone—I just got used to writing 1791 on my deeds of purchase (of slaves)!
As far as the amendment, of course it’s the former. If every private citizen had the right to carry a musket, a thousand people would’ve shot Patrick Henry by now, am I right? Don’t worry about it. Everyone will know what it means.
P.S. You’re not back on “The Ten Amendments” are you? It’s trying way too hard to sound Biblical.